As you may know, I’ve been lucky enough to attend VicenzaOro once before, in January of 2015, and I loved it even more the second time around.
It’s always easy to get more out of an experience when parts of it are familiar: I was able to dive right in instead of needing to figure out the floorplan or determine the best approach. I also didn’t mention this in my last recap, but I was actually recovering from a concussion at VicenzaOro 2015…which did not help my jet lag.
This year, I was wholly healthy and felt fresh as a daisy by the second day. The international press was lucky enough to be hosted in a scenic Italian resort town known for its hot springs, Abano Terme. It was so fun to get a real taste of Italy where I were staying, even though I didn’t have a lot of down time to explore (but I made time for gelato, don’t worry).
So my plan of attack for VicenzaOro the 2nd was to prioritize visiting amazing brands I missed last time, followed by amazing brands I already knew, and then leaving time to wander around discovering new masterpieces.
The #1 brand I regretted missing at the last VicenzaOro was Stefan Hafner. This time, they were my first stop and hooooly moly that was a good decision. Seriously mind-blowing work.
The necklace above was the very first piece of jewelry I touched in Italy. The craftsmanship is incredible; it’s bursting with diamonds but it moves like silk.
If you’ve been with me for a bit, you’ll recognize these earrings:
I featured these beauties a little while ago, when I shared photos of Stefan Hafner’s Aria collection, and I was so so so excited to finally meet them in person. The colors are magnificent.
International designers can be a little more willing to experiment with color than American designers. That may have more to do with the American consumer, but whatever the reason, I love love loved seeing more color at VicenzaOro than I normally do at shows here.
This incredibly badass ring is by Mattioli, a brand I encountered for the first time at the last VicenzaOro. I spent three days trying to get in and see their jewelry but they were so busy that I didn’t manage it the last 15 minutes of the last day – I caught them in a lull and I was able to see all the pieces I’d been stalking all at once.
This ring is just the coolest thing. The pavilion-up black diamonds, the pop of color…it makes me want to be an evil queen in a fairy tale. Click here for a video.
This Mattioli cuff is a little crazy, but it’s pulling off this pop art vibe in such a luxe way that I couldn’t help but love it. It’s just so fun, with the wood base and the bright enamel lips.
One of my favorite parts of VicenzaOro is that the brands are allowed to completely customize their booths, so walking around feels like seeing lots of tiny boutiques, rather than identical stands with different merchandise. It was so cool, especially for brands I wasn’t familiar with, to be able to experience their visual message from a distance before even seeing their jewelry.
These rings are by a new-to-me discovery, Carlo Barberis. The color of these pieces stopped me in my tracks. I went in and asked to see them, because I thought this was a really cool example of enamel and I was very intrigued by the increase in enamel detailing I’ve been seeing.
But guess what? It’s not enamel. It’s stone.
How freaking cool is that?!?! And how bold, to do a style that takes such serious skill in such wonderfully vivid colors. Here’s another example of this technique on my Instagram, with a pink tourmaline halo. It’s worth a look.
There were a lot of whimsical designs on display at VicenzaOro: flowers, butterflies, stars, dragonflies, that kind of thing. Some of it came across as too cutesy for me (none of the pieces I’m featuring here, obviously) but some of it was pure greatness.
I don’t know if we’ve talked about this before…but I almost always hate butterfly motifs. I usually find them to be too sweet. This one, though, knocked my socks off. The colors, the asymmetry of the design, and the geometric patterns in the wings are just so interesting, without sacrificing simplicity or the joyful feeling that butterflies are associated with. It’s also by new favorite Carlo Barberis.
I saw this box of dreams of Pasquale Bruni.
They’re a powerhouse brand, and they did not disappoint at VicencaOro 2016. Gorgeous, romantic designs, beautifully executed.
Obviously I had to put it all on. And someone must have been watching, because Paris Hilton has since worn these earrings and clearly she’s just trying to be more like me.
How beautiful are these floral rings from Pasquale Bruni’s Giardini Segreti collection?
I think it’s easy for floral jewelry to come off as overly sweet, but there’s something sensual about these. They’re seriously high end garden blooms.
This stunner of a necklace is by Anna E Alex, a new-to-me brand who does some incredibly cool things with unconventional jewelry materials. They were showing a lot of bright, light earrings made with fabric, and this incredible dragon necklace.
The ends of this baby are made of carved lava. CARVED LAVA. You should also know that Game of Thrones has ordered one of these for their costume department. I bet you can guess which character it’s for. I’m totally jealous – I want this, too.
I couldn’t get the lighting in this picture to work, but this J Jewels ring was too incredible not to include anyway. Could that setting be any cooler??
This staggering statement cuff by Wendy Yue was one of the most exciting floral pieces at VicenzaOro.
Stare at it for a second. Look past the electric color scheme, the beautiful twining vine and realize what’s beneath it: a branching vine made of huge opals. It’s mind-boggling.
Also, how much do you love the touch of the little bejeweled bug? Such a fun little touch on what’s otherwise a pretty dark (but magnificent) piece.
I’ve said before that Wendy Yue’s designs feel like the a haute couture version of Dr. Seuss’s garden and I mean that as a huge compliment. Her pieces are so gorgeously over the top, in a joyful but somehow still dignified way.
This pretty, pretty ring with its dangling elements was just irresistible. So flirty and clever.
Oh, but she doesn’t just do flowers: Wendy Yue also does abstract pieces like this stunner, which felt to me like the world’s most beautiful finger armor.
Thumbs up, Wendy Yue.
The lovely folks of Wendy Yue were kind enough to just load up a play tray for me and let me go to town, so I got a LOT of pictures there. It was fantastic.
How about THIS cuff? Much brighter than the first one I showed you, but equally bold.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know how much fun I had trying on Diva Gioielli’s starry new collection.
These pieces were so light and fun and wearable. Especially the tiara! I actually wanted to buy one right off the display, but Diva needed to keep their samples for the rest of the show. Alas.
One last piece, because it’s a beautiful example of a trend I’ve really been noticing: darkened metal. This piece is by illustrious pearl brand Yoko London. This ring features a black rhodium plated setting, which presents a dramatic foil to the piece’s light, creamy natural pearls.
That’s it for this year’s VicenzaOro recap! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I’ll be sharing VicenzaOro videos on my Instagram all day, so be sure you’re following me.
A huge thank you to the VicenzaOro show, the Italian Trade Commission, and Luxury Brand Group PR for making it possible for me to have this incredible experience!